February 27, 2016 § Leave a comment
Craft Distilling is growing faster than blossoms are blooming on Victoria’s Cherry Trees so we thought we might bring in our Spirits Correspondent and all round Encyclopedia of all things distilled, Shawn Soole.
If you haven’t yet had the pleasure, you must put Ca Va Bistro Moderne on your list of places to dine in Victoria. Intimate, delicious, relaxed and all round fantastic. I raise a glass to Fauna Martin and the team at Ca Va Bistro Moderne.
I raise a second glass to Spring in Victoria. While the rest of the country continues to shovel out their driveways, we are blessed with watching the blossoms come out.
For the last shout out this week, I raise a pint to Ken Beattie, Executive Director of the BC Craft Brewers Guild. As we all know Craft Brewing has grown at an amazing pace and is now an integral part of the Liquor industry in BC. Managing to aggregate new, rapidly expanding and established breweries is no small feat, but Ken has done a masterful job and we are all better for it.
“What about the Legs of a Wine?”
For years taking careful attention to notice the ‘legs’ of a wine was a part of every sommelier’s training. The legs are the glycerine droplets that run down the side of the glass after swirling a wine. They are also known Church Windows.
The idea was that the legs would tell you about the texture, body and mouthfeel of the wine. The bigger and slower the legs the heavier the wine. I no longer include a review of the legs as it seems redundant and is dependent on the quality of the detergent used to clean the glasses. To get a sense of the body, texture and mouthfeel of a wine I rely on my palate and that seems to do the trick.
Thanks for the emails and questions, please keep them coming.
Segment 2 ~ Craft Distilled Whisky
The Craft Distilling industry is growing by leaps and bounds and that means locally made whisky’s.
The challenge is finding them as it takes time and patience to create a quality whisky, they need a minimum of 3 years ageing, and to that end there are very few that are available, and most can only be gotten through the distilleries mailing list.
Here is a list of a few of the island distilleries making whisky:
In order to get some of the Whisky’s mentioned on the show follow the links below to get on the mailing list or lottery.
Segment 3 ~ Brandy & Eau de Vie
There was a lot covered in this segment so I highly recommend downloading the podcast. Here are a couple of links to producers of brandy here in BC.
Segment 4 ~ Liqueur
Liqueur made here in BC is still hard to find, but there are some stunning examples that are harbingers of what the future will bring. Below are links to some of these products.
Best Buy of the Week – Santa Cristina Campogrande Orvieto ($17)
Classic Italian white wine that is fruit forward and delicious. Brilliant with shellfish, light pastas.
the Dork UnCorked
Stay tuned as next week we get into what it means to be a Craft Distillery, Craft Vodka and the wonderful and exploding world of Craft Gin.
December 16, 2015 § Leave a comment
There are lots of new spirits that have made their way onto the shelves of your local bottle shop in recent weeks. I was chatting with Stacey Brennan of the Hillside Liquor Store (North Dairy and Shelbourne in Victoria) about which items really tickled her fancy and this what she said.
Legend Distilling Blasted Brew Coffee Liqueur ~ $26 + Tax
Legend Handmade Vodka and locally roasted organic coffee from Backyard Beans in Summerland come together to create a spiked coffee exploding with flavour. Hints of dark chocolate and vanilla mingle with the smooth flavour of cold brewed coffee to create this unique craft liqueur. Perfect sipped on it’s own or in your favourite coffee cocktail.
Legend has it, blasting through rock to build the Kettle Valley Railway was dangerous work, especially during winter, when the explosives would get a little frosty. When workers slept in late, they’d have to make up for lost time by defrosting the dynamite in a roasting pan over an open campfire. You can probably guess how the story ends… let’s just say their railroad careers were a ‘flash in the pan’. Don’t fall asleep on the job, keep your eyes wide open with a sip or two of our spiked cold coffee brew.
Ingredients: Legend Handmade Vodka, Organic Coffee, Demerara Sugar, Raw Cocoa Nibs, Pure Vanilla Extract.
375ml – 24% ALC
as you no doubt surmised, Legend Distilling is a craft distiller based on the Naramata Bench just outside of Penticton. Link to Website
Sheringham Distilleries Seaside Gin ~ $25 + tax 375ml, $42 + tax 750ml
Citrus, floral and notes of the sea make our Gin as refreshing as a seaside stroll.
Elegant for sipping and noble in your favourite cocktail…clean as the South Island surf.
Made from B.C. organic white wheat, B.C. malted barley, natural botanicals and sustainable hand-harvested local winged kelp (Alaria marginata).
VOLUME 750mL + 375mL
Sheringham Distillery is located in the metropolis of Shirley on Vancouver Island (about 1 hour up the coast from Victoria). Link to Website
Merridale Cowichan Vodka ~ $46.99 + tax 750ml
Made entirely from B.C. fruit and distilled in our hand-crafted copper still to create a silky, soft finish. To further enhace the smoothness, our true craft vodka is mellowed for over three years in stainless steel and then cold-filtered through charcoal. The result is a round, full-bodied spirits that pours cool and clean across your tongue. Enjoy it neat, over ice, or in your favourite cocktail.
Merridale Cidery and Distillery is an apples throw away from Mill Bay on Vancouver Island. Link to Website
Stacey Brennan is the GM of the Hillside Liquor Store and knows her stuff. You can contact her or any of the staff at the store click the link to their website for contact info and hours.
The Dork UnCorked
December 13, 2015 § Leave a comment
Episode 8 ~ Link to Podcast
Programming note: Chat about Grannies Shortbread has been postponed because of scheduling conflict with guest.
Segment 1 ~ How to become a dork & In The News
First get a degree in Political Science, then sit at a bar and be wowed with the flavour of a wine.
Dork creating wine – Black Tower Riesling ~ $10.49
New Restaurant: Fol Epi & Agrius 732 Yates Street. Second location for the artisan bakery that makes the best baguette and boule this side of Paris. Agrius is open Mon-Fri for lunch, brunch on the weekend and the only night that it is closed is Sunday. They source from local produce and meats and make their own charcuterie.
Segment 2 & 3 ~ Getting Caught Up With Shawn Soole
Iceland – Brennivin Aquavit: Aquavit is a neutral spirit infused with dill and caraway. Very common in Nordic countries, it is usually drank straight and frozen. Pair with fermented dried shark 🙂
On a flavour spectrum Brennivin Aquavit sit between Vodka and Gin.
Available in some specialty private stores.
Manchester, UK – Aperol (Italian bitters) is the sponsor of Manchester United.
Aperol Spritz is a common cocktail found in Italy. The Roman version simply mixes 1 part Aperol with 3 parts Prosecco.
Nicaragua – Flor de Cana Rum
Flor de Cana translates as Flower of the Cane.
Flor de Cana is made from hand harvested sugar cane and is aged in barrels.
Available in the market is Flor de Cana 5 Year (currently $5 off in December at $22.99)
Flor de Cana 7 Year $31.99
Flor de Cana 18 Year $59.99
Recommendation: If you are looking to give the gift of spirits this Christmas look to single batch rum as the best bang for the buck. The intensity of flavour of the 18 Year old is unmatched. Consider how much the rum has been intensified over 18 years. 18 years of Angel Share (The amount of spirit evaporated each year during aging). In Nicaragua the angel share is 6-8%, thus the spirit intensifies at a higher rate than Scotch (2-3% Angel Share). 18 Year Old Scotch is about double the price of 18 Year Old Rum.
Segment 4 ~ Brandy and Best Buy of the Week
Brandy is a favourite if mine. As for a brandy that delivers big value look for the Torres line of Brandies.
5 Year over delivers amongst entry brandies in the $20-$30 range.
Jime, top of the line at $120, is truly amazing brandy and about 1/2 the cost of a similar quality of Cognac.
Best Buy of the Week – Casa Viva Pinot Noir
Coming up next week – Pairing for Christmas fare.